Change happens from within


The Center for Transformational Discipleship is a training and development resource for churches and ministries serving poor communities. 

We help youth workers transform at-risk youth into emerging leaders.

By helping leaders create youth programs centered on identity discovery, leadership animation and discipleship, at-risk youth can discover who they are in Christ and pursue a new path of becoming the emerging leaders God intended them to be.


Building Cathedrals: Urban Youth Discipleship that Works



In Building Cathedrals, Ted Travis shares his blueprint for Transformational Discipleship


(as well as accounts of its profound impact on young people)


and exhorts today's youth workers to reimagine their ministries and raise up a new generation of visionary urban leaders.

Praise for Building Cathedrals

Ted Travis has written a moving book on urban youth. By examining youth ministry through the lens of Christian community development, he has brought to light what the church can and should be doing to bring hope and new life to youth in our cities.

Years ago, I shared my burden concerning youth with Ted: How do we build incentive in these kids? How do we induce change from within? Building Cathedrals gives a powerful response to that question.

I agree with Ted: It is time to weave what he calls transformational discipleship into the fabric of youth ministry. I encourage pastors, youth leaders and people concerned about the state of our youth in the city to read this book.

Dr. John Perkins: Co-founder, Christian Community Development Association; Author, Let Justice Roll Down

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 It is my contention that the missional field of youth culture in the U.S. is an ever-increasing multi-ethnic and metropolitan reality. We can no longer afford to marginalize urban youth ministry, for it is becoming more and more the main stream of youth ministry.

Ted Travis offers deep insight into understanding a model of transformational ministry to at-risk urban youth that can assist in rethinking youth ministry in a broad way into the future. This is a much-needed resource.

Efrem Smith: past President and CEO, World Impact; Author, The Post-Black and Post-White Church


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Anyone start this? I got 3rd degree burns from holding this book it’s so flame.


Youth Leader's text to fellow cohort members, The DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative


Ted Travis has written a book that has been long overdue! He has thought intently, theologically, philosophically and practically about the depths of what it means to empower our youth in the urban community through a transformational discipleship approach to urban youth development. 

If you just started ministry to youth, this is a mandatory read to take you in the right direction with your work with young people; and sadly, if you are a veteran, it might just be the book to bring you back into focus. Trust ya boy! Get this book and study it.

Phil Jackson: Lead Pastor of The House; Co-author, The Hip-Hop Church: Connecting with the Movement Shaping Our Culture  


Ted, we met at the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative National Conference last month. My wife and I are preparing to lead a Pastors and Youth Leaders Conference in Haiti tomorrow and I (sorry) just started to read your book. It’s awesome!!! 

The Chapter on Transformation is so insightful it should be mandatory reading for anyone called to serve young people. Blessings to you …

 It is rare when a book comes along that both summarizes a person’s—and in this case, a couple’s—life and ministry and also paves the way for others to learn from their years of faithful and powerful ministry. I have had the privilege to know Ted Travis for nearly three decades, and he is among the brightest, most committed and creative leaders I have been around. In Building Cathedrals , Ted unpacks in clear and practical language the why and what of long-term effective urban youth ministry. He has lived what he writes, and he brings a ministry longevity and reality to this book that not only lends credibility but also offers hope.

I am so grateful for Ted and Shelly—for their ministry and faithfulness and consistency, and now for the gift of this book, helping the world to learn from the work, sacrifice and genuine love that this family has given to the people of Denver.

Chap Clark, PhD: Professor of Youth, Family, and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary; Author, Hurt 2.0: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers